Hans Krondahl is an important Swedish textile designer and fiber artist of the 1960s and 70s. Krondahl graduated from the National College of Art, Craft and Design in Stockholm in 1959. He opened his own studio in 1962, designing both large-scale tapestries for public environments as well as designs for industrially printed textiles. He was the head of the textiles department at the College of Art, Craft and Design in Stockholm (1977–78), the National College of Art and Design, in Olso (1978–79) and at the HDK College, Gothenburg University (1981–88). Krondahl taught textile arts at Gothenburg until 1995.

Kadrilj is a domestic textile designed early in Krondahl’s career and under the influence of his mentor, Astrid Sampe. Krondahl was exploring very basic methods of applying patterns; the designs for the printed pattern were created with cork and vegetable stamps; it has an organic feeling and a delicate palette. The artist writes, “Great care was taken to keep the freshness and ‘amateur’ feeling and move that along to mass-production.” This length is an artist’s proof that went into commercial production as a silkscreen print.

This textile is one of the first examples of early works by Krondahl to be added to the museum’s collection. Cooper Hewitt has several later works by Krondahl that are of a very different nature: Christopher Columbus (designed 1968); Jazz, Blues, and Shimmy (all designed 1967); Enku, Kyoto, Kabuki, and Ginza (all designed 1965). These printed textiles were designed for use in public interiors—cinemas, theaters, restaurants—and show a bold use of color and abstract geometric shapes. Astrid Sampe, Krondahl’s mentor, is also represented in the collection.

 

Matilda McQuaid is the Deputy Director of Curatorial and Head of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

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